Southampton 0 Charlton 0

Last updated : 27 September 2002 By David Robson

Southampton and Charlton ground out a dull draw at St Mary's with each side managing to create only one clear chance.

Saints manager Gordon Strachan sprung a pre-match surprise when he left out star players Anders Svensson and James Beattie and although both appeared later as subs, they were too late to make any difference.

Southampton's best chance came in the 39th minute when Fabrice Fernandes took a corner on the left and Jo Tessem's header was goalbound until cleared off the line by defender Chris Powell.

Charlton's only clear opening came in first-half injury time when Claus Jensen took a free kick from 25 yards which appeared to be heading for the top corner until goalkeeper Antti Niemi got across to his right to make an outstanding save on his Premiership debut.

Charlton manager Alan Curbishley sent on Shaun Bartlett at the start of the second half, but Charlton were rarely seen as an attacking force.

Southampton always looked more likely to score and both Rory Delap and Tessem should have done better with clear openings.

Charlton's only glimmer of a chance in the second half came in the 79th minute when Chris Bart-Williams forced Niemi to dive to his right to save a low shot from outside the area.

Referee Philip Dowd booked Jason Euell for a foul and Southampton pair Delap and England full-back Wayne Bridge. It was Bridge's first booking for more than a year having played every game last season without incurring a yellow card.

Strachan bowed to public pressure to send on Svensson in the 67th minute and Beattie in the 74th, but they could make little headway against a Charlton defence which held out under increasing pressure, with Richard Rufus outstanding